Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meaning of the Stock Market Hissy Fit

As the nation's banks face their "stress test" by the Treasury this week, the stock markets are having the equivalent of a heart attack with indexes falling to lows unseen in this century.

What can Barack Obama possibly say tonight that would stop the cratering of values in the entire economy? The major banks, the automakers, the insurance giant AIG have all swallowed billions of taxpayer money and are now begging for more.

It's the President's mission to reassure the country that everything will be all right--eventually. But eventually keeps receding, and there is no sign that politics-as-usual is being put aside to deal with the magnitude of the emergency.

If anything, the stock market may be sending a message that its greatest advocates are still not getting. Those Republicans who are still prattling about free markets are not hearing what the biggest market of all is trying to tell them: This problem is too big for any other entity but government and, the longer it takes for everyone to agree on that, the worse it's going to get.

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